Next level leadership coming up at IkamvaYouth

There are some big job ads being advertised at IkamvaYouth at the moment; the Executive Director role was advertised a few weeks ago, and we have just put out an internal and external call for applications for Chief Operating Officer. We thought this might raise some questions, and so are sharing some of the background behind these big changes in case people are interested.

In January, Joy (our co-founder and director since 2003!) resigned, with 6 months’ notice. After 15 years with the organisation, she believes it’s more than time for new leadership and fresh perspectives to take the organisation to the next level. IkamvaYouth has become a big organisation over the last four years especially; with over 60 full time staff members, 17 branches, hundreds of partners and thousands of learners and tutors. The budget has also grown significantly, and the organisation is fortunate to be supported by a diverse group of committed supporters, both locally and internationally, and across sectors, including foundations, corporates and government. IkamvaYouth has also recently entered into a ten-year partnership agreement with the Department of Basic Education, and is looking forward to this collaboration, which will achieve far-reaching impact.

Yasmin (our COO, and previously finance manager, who has been with IY for four years) had to relocate to her home country, Ghana, at the end of last year, as her husband had new exciting work that side, and her family wanted to spend more time with their twin babies. As IkamvaYouth works virtually on a daily basis (our

head office is split between Pretoria and Cape Town, and our branches are in five different provinces), we have been able to continue with Yas working remotely for this first quarter. However, while it has worked very well, it is obviously not ideal to have the COO out of the country most of the time, and so while we are heavy hearted to say goodbye to Yas, we are also thrilled that she’ll be continuing the important work of promoting access to quality education and changing lives through the very impressive work being done at Ashesi University in Ghana.

The ED recruitment process is well underway, with interviews happening in the coming weeks, and we plan to have made an offer in time for our new director to participate in the final interviews for the new COO. Yas will be available for a comprehensive hand-over to her successor, also as Joy is with IY until mid July, there will be plenty of time for onboarding, orientation and handover to the new leadership. We are extremely fortunate to have a very committed board of directors, comprising experienced and smart individuals (please see link to IY Board Members here), who are driving the very rigorous and comprehensive recruitment process for the ED.

IkamvaYouth embarked on organisation-wide conversations about transformation last year, and we are committed to ensuring that all levels of the organisation are both diverse and representative of the communities we serve. We are very excited about welcoming our new colleagues, and to learning from them as they bring outside experience and perspectives into a strong organisation!